The World Cup 2022 winners, Argentina, have failed to dislodge Brazil from the top of the Fifa men’s world rankings as England remain fifth in the post-Qatar standings.
Argentina have moved into second spot after Lionel Messi led them to their third World Cup triumph on Sunday, adding to their 2021 Copa America title. Had Lionel Scaloni’s side, or beaten finalists France, won the final within 90 minutes, they would have taken the top spot from Brazil.
France climbed one place to third, with Belgium dropping two runs to fourth, following their failure to get out of the group stage. England stay fifth after their quarter-final exit, with the Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Portugal and Spain finishing in the top 10.
Morocco has moved up to 11th place from 22nd after their run to the World Cup semi-finals, replacing Senegal as the highest-ranked African nation. The Atlas Lions’ highest ranking ever was 10th in 1998, and they fell as low as 92nd in 2015. Australia also climbed 11 places to 27th after reaching the last 16 in Qatar.
Wales have dropped nine places to 28th after a disappointing performance at their first World Cup for 64 years, their lowest position since being 37th in April 2015. Scotland are 42nd, the Republic of Ireland 48th and Northern Ireland 59th.
Brazil went into Qatar 2022 as the world’s top-ranked team but lost to Croatia on penalties in the quarter-final, continuing a remarkable run of poor returns for the No. 1 side in World Cups since rankings were introduced.
In the last eight tournaments going back to USA ’94, no team leading the rankings at kick-off has won the tournament, with only 1998 finalists getting beyond the quarter-finals. Brazil have been the No 1 side on two other occasions (2006 and 2010), going out in the last eight both times.
Germany went out in the quarter-finals in 1994, while France (2002), Spain (2014) and Germany (2018) – all defending champions – failed to make it out of the group stage.
In Fifa’s women’s rankings, which were last updated on December 9, the United States stay top ahead of Germany, with Sweden third and England fourth.